This month's Cake Slice Bakers group's challenge includes this great Lemon-Curd Pound Cake from Zoe Bakes Cakes.
I chose this one because I thought it would be less complicated and a little less time consuming than last month's amazing Chocolate Pavlova.
It's not quite as involved, but still has several unique components that need to be made before beginning the recipe. The end result is worth it to me!
This is an excellent pound cake recipe by itself - a great, dense, but not too dense, texture, and the flavor is so good.
The crowning jewels to this cake, though, are the baked, candied lemons. I've always wanted to know how to make candied lemons and now I do!
I ate one of the extras and the lemony-sweet flavor with that thick simple syrup is amazing.
Be sure and let them bake long enough. They won't quite fall apart, but you want them ultra-soft so you won't taste the pith (bitter white part). It sweetens right up.
Important Steps for a Successful Bake:
- Don't skip this step! Let the ingredients that need to be room temperature sit on your counter for at least an hour. It's a very important part of the recipe so that the batter doesn't curdle and the ingredients blend in.
- Stir the lemon curd constantly while it's cooking so that you don't get scrambled eggs. The curd will be thin, but will thicken upon refrigeration.
- Save the simple syrup from the baked lemons. You'll drizzle a little of it over the cake after it's baked. And save the remainder of that awesome syrup to add to a glass of iced water and create the most wonderful lemony-sweet drink ever.
- The pound cake batter should be very light and airy before you add the lemon curd. Gently fold in the lemon curd - doesn't matter that there are streaks of it - that makes the cake even better.
Besides the delicious baked lemons on the top of the cake, the first layer of slices sunk down into the cake to the bottom. It gave us two amazing layers of those to-die-for lemons.
There were also a few streaks of swoon-worthy lemon curd throughout this luscious dessert. Every bit of this Lemon-Curd Pound Cake is enjoyable.
If you like this recipe, you may also like my Glazed Lemon Braid Cookies. The more lemon, the better!
- Simple Syrup:
- 1 C water
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- Lemon Curd:
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ C granulated sugar
- ¼ C freshly squeezed lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ C butter, cut into four pieces
- scant pinch of kosher salt
- Pound Cake:
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced (¼")
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- ¾ C butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ C granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 4 egg yolks, room temperature
- 2 C, plus 2 tablespoon cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ C sour cream, room temperature
- Lemon Curd: In the top part of a double boiler, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, butter and salt.
- Put 1" of water in the bottom part of a double boiler and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Place the pot with the lemon mixture on top of the simmering water. (If you don't have a double boiler, use a medium saucepan for the water and a medium stainless steel mixing bowl for the lemon mixture.)
- Stir the mixture constantly with a rubber spatula, cleaning the sides of the pan as you stir. The lemon curd will begin to thicken after 6-8 minutes - it should be the consistency of smooth pudding, but will be thinner (will firm up on refrigerating).
- If there are any lumps, strain through a sieve. Pour the curd into a shallow container and immediately top with plastic wrap, pressing it down onto the top of the lemon curd, so it doesn't form a film after cooling. Refrigerate until chilled while you make the rest of the recipe.
- Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup.
- Bring to a simmer and let simmer, stirring once or twice, until sugar is completely dissolved, 5-6 minutes. Turn off heat, set aside.
- Pound Cake: Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 or 10" loaf pan (or 9x4" Pullman pan), line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper.
- Put the lemon slices and vanilla seeds in the bottom of a 9 or 10" baking dish, then pour the simple syrup over the top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until the lemons are very, very soft, 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, cream the butter on medium-high until creamy and smooth, about one minute. Turn the mixer speed to low and add the sugar, vanilla, lemon extract, and lemon zest to the butter and mix until incorporated. Turn the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Turn the speed to medium-low and add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating until just combined. Scrape bowl as needed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift to remove any lumps.
- Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed, just until combined. Add half of the sour cream and mix in. Repeat with another one-third flour, then the remaining sour cream. Finish with the final one-third flour, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Remove the bowl from the mixing stand and gently fold in the lemon curd to the batter. It's OK if there are streaks of lemon curd throughout.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top and tap the pan on the counter several times to release air bubbles. Place four to five baked lemon slices on top and lightly press into the batter. Set the pan on a baking sheet.
- Bake just until the top sets, about 45 minutes (the lemon slices should have sunk down into the batter). Lay another four to five lemon slices on the top of the batter and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes more (toothpick inserted will come out with crumbs). Remove cake from the oven and immediately pour 2 tablespoons of the lemon syrup (that the lemons were baked in) evenly on top of the cake.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Before making this recipe, read through it thoroughly. Set out the ingredients that need to be room temperature for a good hour before you start making the cake.
The lemon curd will be thin on the stovetop, but smooth. The refrigeration will thicken it up.
Save the syrup from the baked lemons, add it to a glass of water, and enjoy a refreshing lemony drink.
My cake stuck to the outer edges a little - just run a knife around the edges before you turn out onto the rack.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 426Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 187mgSodium: 273mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 1gSugar: 53gProtein: 4g
Nutrition Values are Approximate
Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Zoë Bakes Cakes by Zoē François. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!
Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.
The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.
It is a new year and a new book - Zoë Bakes Cakes - and our choices for May 2022 were ~
Red Velvet Cake